Lee County Biography


The name of Warren Conrad Durkes is inseparably interwoven with the records of financial activity in Dixon and this part of the state. For twelve years he was cashier of the City National Bank, is now its president and is likewise associated with a number of other banking concerns and business enterprises. His entire career has been characterized by orderly progression and each forward step has brought him a broader outlook and wider opportunities until he is now prominently connected with interests and enterprises having to do with the substantial upbuilding and progress of this section of the state. He was born at Franklin Grove, Illinois, May 20, 1868, and is a son of Conrad and Mary (Jones) Durkes. While spending his youthful days under the parental roof he acquired a public-school education and later entered a business college of Chicago, from which he was graduated 1886. He then entered his father's bank at Franklin Grove in a clerical capacity and upon its reorganization under the name of the Franklin Grove Bank in 1889 he was made cashier. His identification therewith brought him intimate and comprehensive knowledge of every phase of the banking business and he remained in successful control of that institution until 1901, when he came to Dixon and entered upon active relations with the City National Bank as its cashier, in which capacity he served until 1913 when he was elected president. He is still connected with the Franklin Grove Bank as vice president and he is a director of the First National Bank of Erie, Illinois, a director and treasurer of the Dixon Home Telephone Company, a director of many others which have developed telephone connections throughout this part of the state, giving to the public excellent service, and a director of the Dixon Loan and Building Association. Mr. Durkes recognized the possibilities in these directions and his cooperation has been a feature in carrying the enterprises forward to successful completion.

In 1893 Mr. Durkes was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Canterbury, of Chicago, and they have become the parents of two daughters, Leona and Katherine. Mr. Durkes is a member of the Elks and Knights of Pythias lodges and is a prominent Mason, having attained the Knight Templar degree in the Dixon Commandery, while he is also a member of the Mystic Shrine. His geniality and unfeigned cordiality have made him popular, while his tireless energy, keen perception, honesty of purpose and genius for devising the right thing at the right time have gained him a prominent place among the foremost business men of Lee county.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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